We had flights booked from Cairns to Sydney having briefly visited North Queensland.We realised too late that we’d be in the air when the supermoon rose. Still we’d been able to spend a day in the Daintree rainforest and another out snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, both amazing places despite the massive coral bleaching of the reef that I had known about but still shocked me. Last time I was at the reef was 30 years ago and it was a myriad of colour. How man has changed our world in such a short time. Last time that there was a supermoon the Great Barrier Reef was truly Great. What will be left when the next supermoon appears?
We would have liked to have sat on one of the endless, empty beaches and watched the moon rise, but we were unable to change our plans so reluctantly we left our tropical haven and headed for Cairns to catch the flight. We had managed to change our seats to the left of the plane, but as we approached Cairns tropical storm clouds filled the sky. Even though we took off surrounded by dense clouds, soon patches of blue replaced the white and the sky cleared as if by magic …
I love these guys. They have so much character.
The red-tailed black cockatoo is one of three black cockatoos in the South West of Australia. All three species are threatened due to land development and loss of habitat.
The endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) is one of just two species of white-tailed black cockatoo on Earth.
One of the most important means of recovery for threatened species and communities is the protection of their habitat.
One of my favourite animals is the elephant. In the eighties their populations had been decimated in many countries due to the demand for ivory. With controls on poaching, education, and in 1989 a ban on the trade of ivory, the following decades saw healthy populations of elephants returning. However, Japan and Hong Kong were still able to legally trade ivory, as some southern African countries fought the ban, stating that the legal sale of ivory from sustainable populations and natural deaths funded conservation. In allowing these ‘so-called’ legal sales, and the ferocious demand in a newly affluent China, the number of African elephants in the world has been devastated. The legal trade allows poached ivory to be sold as ‘legal’ by using the few legal licences repeatedly to sell the poached ivory. In 2015, 20,000 elephants were illegally killed. Tanzania alone has lost 60% of its elephants in the last five years.
So you can imagine my delight, when last year I was fortunate enough to return to the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, one of the largest wilderness areas left in Africa, an area where the elephant population has been decimated, and we stumbled on a small herd of elephants. Our first sighting was across the water. They were bathing and playing in the shallows. We weren’t close enough to see much so we decided to try to skirt around the water. I thought we might not see them again, but when we came out of the other side of a clump of trees and low scrub, they appeared in front of us. We sat and watched as they ambled off across the bush.
I think the smile stayed on my face for a long time. Hope is a powerful thing.
In this fragile place,
where greed talks loud.
In this beautiful place,
of moors and farmland.
In this tranquil place,
where streams run clear.
In this proud place,
where villages have stood
In this threatened place,
where decisions, made
in council chambers
and behind lobbyist doors,
will change it
In Ryedale, North Yorkshire.
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Why would you frack here?
Wow! I’ve been blogging for a year and even though I can be a little random in the frequency of my posts, I have a ‘few’ followers and enjoy the interaction and conversation, albeit through the ‘internet-sphere’. I am surprised that it is my photography and not my writing that attracts the most interest. Is that because it is quicker to appraise and ‘like’ a photo than a piece of writing? It is certainly quicker, on most occasions, to take the photo or to choose and to post it.
I have always loved photography and since I was a teenager, when I first learnt to develop my own black and white photographs, I have built up a vast collection of pictures. Some of these early black and whites are heaped in a box. I have boxes of negatives, boxes of slides and now files and files of digital images. I have cameras in a cupboard that have not seen the light of day for many years: my photographer mother’s Roliflex that she had swapped for a Leica as she preferred it for the portraits that were her passion; the old Yashica, my first ever camera; the Olympus I used at college; the Nikon with multiple lenses, that I loved and had cost me a fortune in Singapore at a time when I was working and travelling throughout South East Asia; my first digital camera, which was a compact Fuji; my first digital SLR – back to Olympus again, I think because it was lighter to carry amongst other reasons; and finally my trusted Panasonic Lumix camera that now goes on all my travel adventures because it fits in my pocket and takes pictures that are more about the moment and I find less intrusive than a larger camera.
some of my cameras…
But what about my writing? Have I been using the blog as I thought? I have vented my frustration on a few issues, I completed ‘Writing 101’ to help establish myself as a blogger, I’ve written a mixture of commentary, life writing and fiction and even a couple of poems – that surprised me! I have added my thoughts to other people’s blogs and am making a commitment to myself to do more of this. That for me at this moment is what blogging is all about – the interaction and knowledge that someone is enjoying or being provoked into thought by my post.
So yes, my writing and words have been a large part of my blog and even though it can be easier to post a photo, I also will always make sure to have some ‘verbalising’ there each month. Having said that, even I am not sure how the next year of blogging will evolve.